18 Pushup Variations – Try Them All!


18 Pushup Variations – Try Them All!

Feb 23, 2015 //

The pushup is an awesome exercise. It doesn’t take equipment, it doesn’t take space, and it hardly takes any time. But if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve done pushups so many times they’ve gotten boring. Plus, doing the same exercise the exact same way is hardly the best way to build strength and muscle. If you’re looking for pushup variations, look no further. We’ve got the 18 best ways to do pushups right here. Give them a try!

1. Standard Pushup

It’s your basic pushup. Enough said.

2. Narrow Pushup    

Changing the width of your hands will affect the muscles you use during the motion. Moving to a narrow hand position will focus more of the effort on your triceps.

3. Wide Pushup

Going with a wider pushup stance can help to focus the strain on your pectorals.

4. “Pushing the Ground” Pushup

A trainer once explained to me a method he used for increasing the activation of his chest muscles during a pushup. While doing the pushup, he envisioned pushing the ground between his hands together, as though he were somehow going to bend the floor between his hands and move them together. I tried it, and I found that this simple act of visualization really fires up your pectorals and gives you a great burn.

5. Diamond Pushup

Diamond pushups are about as narrow a hand placement as you can go. Place the thumbs and forefingers of both hands against each other to create a diamond shape.

6. Yoga Pushup

The yoga pushup is a combination of three yoga poses: adho mukha svasana (downward-facing dog), chaturanga dandasana (a low plank where the elbows grip the body and are bent at a 90 degree angle), and urdva mukha
svanasana (upward-facing dog). Begin in downward-facing dog, then lower into chaturanga dandasana. From here, press through and forward into upward-facing dog. Then, slide the hips backward to re-enter downward-facing dog. Repeat.

7. T-Pushup

T-pushups are intense. At the top of a pushup, you remove one hand from the ground and raise it into the air in a side-plank posture. Lower the hand, perform another pushup, and repeat on the other side. This not only works your upper body, it also strengthens your core.

8. Burpees

To perform a burpee, do a pushup, then at the top of the pushup, jump your feet up to your hands in a squat position. Straighten your legs and jump as high as you can. When you land, squat back down, shoot your feet back out behind you again, and perform another pushup.

9. On the Knees Pushup

If you’re looking for an easier alternative to pushups, you can always perform them while resting on your knees. This reduces the amount of weight you need to lift and allows you to work your way up to regular pushups.

10. One-Leg-Raised Pushup

In this variation, perform a pushup, but raise one of your legs off the floor and hold it at hip level throughout the movement. This will require additional core strength to stabilize you throughout the exercise. Make sure you perform equal numbers of pushups on each side.

11. Pushup with Feet Elevated

Place your feet on a coffee table or chair and perform pushups normally. Elevating your feet will change the way your muscles work and make the exercise more intense.

12. One-Arm-Raised Pushup

Perform a pushup normally. At the top, raise one arm up to shoulder height. Lower it, perform a pushup, and repeat on the other side.

13. One-Armed Pushup                   

One-armed pushups are a great workout, and they look cool too. If you can’t quite manage a full one-armed pushup, try doing it with your arm elevated on something sturdy. This will make the exercise easier. You can gradually work down to lower objects and finally get to where you can perform them on the floor.

14. Knuckle Pushup

This variation is just like a regular pushup, but instead of resting your weight on your palms, you make fists and hold yourself up with your knuckles.

15. Wall Pushup

For the easiest of pushups, simply stand next to a wall and perform pushups against it. No matter your fitness level, you can probably do it. The more vertical you are, the easier the pushup will be. The closer to horizontal you are, the more you will be fighting against gravity, and the more challenging it will be.

16. Inverted Wall Pushup

For a truly challenging pushup, get into a handstand position with your feet resting against a wall for stability. Perform a pushup.

17. Staggered Pushup

Place your hands asymmetrically, so one hand is further forward than the other. Perform a pushup. Repeat on both sides.

18. Alligator Pushup

Get into a staggered pushup position, then move slowly forward on your hands and feet, doing a pushup with each “step.”






Christian Heftel

Christian Heftel is a freelance writer and fitness enthusiast. He is a certified yoga instructor, a teacher of Yau Man Kung Fu and a general lover of outdoor activity. When he's not writing, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son.

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